How to Defeat Trump in 2020 — Build Bigger Better Cities
If you want a real change to the American political landscape, make your city bigger and better.
It makes no sense, to me, that Donald Trump could win the presidency.
It also makes no sense, to me, that all three branches of government could be run by the party of blatant corporatism, obstructionism, and, frankly, racism.
So. I had to find out why. I hoped that by finding out why all this DOES make sense, I could find a way to make it so this is not materially possible to happen in the future.
What I found out is, it’s the cities.
Think of it this way:
If you cut an apple north-to-south, it looks like this. It looks like there is a right and a left. Looks like our political system: two camps, two umbrellas that take in a bunch of various special interests that just happened to be thrown together. Ones always a little bigger than the other.
On the left, we see Unions, Women, Social Democrats, Blacks, Immigrants, etc. On the right we see Evangelicals, Whites, Hawks (Pro-War), Pro-Lifers, Neoconservatives…. The nation looks like just looks like two random (often contradictory) conglomerations of special interests. Why are Pro-Lifers with the Pro-War Hawks? Why are the Unions with the Immigrants? It seems to make no sense.
Take Another Look
But what if you cut an apple east-to-west. It looks like a star.
We’ve been cutting the country down the middle ideologically, but what if we cut it across the middle by geography?
Look at this 2016 map of voter preference based on population density. Notice any pattern? Almost all the dense places are blue as hell.
There is something blue about living in dense cities.
A Long Term Solution
It seems like if we want to prevent ass-hats from running the country, we need to move people out of rural and suburban areas and into cities. There seems to be three ways to do that.
1. Make Cities Amazeballs
If you live in a city, take pride in your city and make it a beautiful and welcoming place. Welcome and include new transplants from the burbs and the hinterlands and show that you don’t hate immigrants, even domestic ones.
Continue to do amazing things that make cities great like festivals, concerts, and comedy. Make sure that these are marketed on local news, local papers, and AM & FM radio stations so that surrounding areas actually hear about them and can come participate.
Focus on local issues that are commonly criticized about cities. Work to solve your city’s traffic problems, parking, and other visible and common annoyances.
Make sure your city offers amazing services like good schools, free wifi, libraries, parks, and spotless, safe, timely public transportation.
2. Make Cities Ultra Affordable
Cities are expensive. If you ask someone, “Why don’t you move to Denver/NYC/SF/etc?” the answer you’ll most likely get is “The rents are high there. The cost of living is expensive.” And they are right. The rent is too damn high. Food and other necessities are also prohibitively expensive.
If we want to make the country safe for progressive ideals, we have to make cities affordable to live in. And thankfully this is not really that hard.
Many thousands of cities have followed smart “infill” policies that legalize smart, multi-use, transit-oriented development a under-populated and under-utilized city neighborhoods.
Public transportation is probably the biggest bang for your buck. It reduces the cost of living in a city dramatically while making cities more delightful to live in and reduces the cost of many knock-on services like parking and traffic.
You don’t have to turn Des Moins into the Big Apple over night. If each city got a bit bigger, especially in swing states, we can make the country safe for civilization.
3. How? — Start or Join a YIMBY Chapter
A YIMBY is a “Yes In My Back Yard” progressive. It means you are for growing and improving your city. It means you welcome immigrants from other countries and transplants from other cities and places in the US. It means you support tenants right, but you know that gentrification is caused primarily by a lack of housing, not by high wages and new transplants.
To start a YIMBY chapter, just make a Facebook group and start having meetings once a month.
Cities in Swing States — We’re Looking at You!
These three actions are important for cities everywhere, but it is especially important that medium to large-sized cities in swing states start making big and dramatic changes.
The maps don’t lie. Just a few tens of thousand people moving from rural and suburban areas to urban areas in a few states would make it impossible for xenophobic, racist, hawkish, evangelical, corporatist idiots to take the highest office.
If you make your city great, and you actually make America truly great again.
If you think improving and growing cities is going to help the country, please Recommend and Share this Article and get involved.
San Francisco, CA